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Monitoring and regional instruments

Human rights monitoring of informal systems should go beyond CEDAW and also incorporate the provisions of regional instruments. CEDAW does not resolve, or provide sufficient direction to resolve, many of the cases that arise when gender equality and “culture” come into conflict (Merry, 2006; Bond, 2010). Reservations to CEDAW made by many countries also limit its effectiveness in addressing conflicts between informal justice practices and gender equality. Regional instruments on women’s rights may be more helpful in providing direction when working on informal justice sector reform, and may in fact expand some of the protections in CEDAW. For example, advocates may want to refer to:

Often the goal of human rights monitoring is to present information to a national, regional or international human rights body. Tools for organizations wishing to present monitoring reports to regional and international bodies include:

Guide to International Human Rights Mechanisms (The Advocates for Human Rights, 2010). Available in English.

Documentation Research Guide (United Nations, 2011). Available in English and French.

Producing Shadow Reports to the CEDAW Committee: A Procedural Guide (IWRAW, 2009). Available in English.